Community Futures Meridian

Box 2167, 125 - 1st Avenue East, Kindersley, SK - Phone: (306) 463-1850

Embrace the Waste

  • June 4, 2019
  • Written by Meridian Admin

 

In the article above we talked about embracing cold calling, in Embrace the Waste the discussion is about how we can utilize our excesses to help others in our own communities and maybe even the world at large.

Trendwatching.com recently reported on a program in an Indian school district that introduced a program to freeze leftover (but unserved) school cafeteria food and package it for students in need. While most students in the school district are provided breakfast and lunch at school, many go hungry over the weekend. Students who would normally have little to eat on non-school days are given a backpack with eight frozen meals to take home for the weekend. To bring this home, food insecurity affects 1.15 million, or one in six, Canadian children under age 18 (Source: Statistics Canada) and over 300,000 children visit a food bank every month.

The lesson we can get from this article is that what is waste to one person can be valuable, or even life-saving to another. Every company has waste, even one person working out of a home office produces some waste. It is up to us in the business community to embrace our waste and see if we can somehow use it to help others, or the planet.

Here are five practical ways your businesses waste might help others.

  1. Raw Materials­—almost all manufacturing causes waste, could any of yours help others? Consider offcuts of wood, metal, plastic, or any other by-products of your manufacturing process.
  2. Excess Inventory—unsold inventory can take up valuable warehouse space, but just because it’s a slow seller for you, consider whether a charitable cause could sell it?
  3. Machinery and Equipment—are you using your computers 24 hours a day? Is there some way a charitable organization could make use of them during periods when you are not using them? This may sound crazy, but it was common practice in the early days of PC’s for businesses to rent out computer time during evenings and weekends.
    When you replace computers, printers and other equipment, do you take them to the landfill, or do you see if a local good cause you make use of them?
  4. Physical Space—have you got unused office or warehouse space a not-for-profit could use? Do you have space that is empty at weekends that might help not-for-profits with bottle drives, or other fundraising initiatives?
  5. Time—do you have employees that are temporarily underutilized? Could you second them to a charitable cause for a day, a week, even a few hours to offer training, or advice?

These are only a few suggestions, but if you are creative and carry out an audit on your business you might discover more ways you can turn your waste into other people’s salvation. Or, simply help the planet.